Question reference: S6W-09092
- Asked by: Kaukab Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party
- Date lodged: 10 June 2022
Current status: Answered by Patrick Harvie on 21 June 2022
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its plans to respond to the Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce report, Achieving net zero in social housing, in order to provide registered social landlords with as much certainty as possible as they plan to retrofit their stock of tenement accommodation to meet its climate targets, including in the Glasgow Kelvin constituency where the stock is reportedly extensive.
The Scottish Government published its response to the Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce (ZEST) report on 14 th June 2022, and can be accessed at http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781804355176 .
The ZEST report rightly highlighted the need for clarity with regards to the second Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH2) given that milestones were not fully aligned with net zero and it also confirmed that Housing Associations and Local Authorities need long-term certainty to plan investment appropriately.
The Scottish Government has therefore confirmed that the review of EESSH2 will be brought forward to commence this year for completion in 2023, in order to provide registered social landlords with as much certainty as possible as they plan to retrofit their stock.
While the review is underway the current EESSH2 2025 and 2032 milestones will be temporarily put on hold to ensure that any investment is targeted toward long-term solutions that deliver net zero and support the eradication of fuel poverty. Social landlords should continue to invest in energy efficiency measures to help reduce running costs, and in zero emissions heating systems where appropriate.
The Scottish Government’s Social Housing Net Zero Heat Fund supports projects to deploy zero emissions heat, improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty. The fund will make £200 million available over the course of this parliament.
As set out in the Heat in Buildings Strategy, the Scottish Government recognises the challenges presented in decarbonising Scotland’s tenements and earlier this year convened a Short Life Working Group of experts, tasked with developing recommendations on the best approach for tenement buildings to reach a good level of energy efficiency and install a zero emissions heating supply. The recommendations made by the Group will form part of a forthcoming public consultation.
Scottish Ministers have also commissioned the Scottish Law Commission (SLC) to undertake a law reform project, considering the establishment, formation, and operation of compulsory owners’ associations in tenement properties, including the feasibility and desirability of providing powers for associations to carry out energy efficiency and heating improvement work. This was one of the key recommendations of the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance. The SLC expects to provide the Scottish Government with a report detailing its recommendations and providing a draft Bill for consideration by Spring 2026.